Alexander P de Seversky and the Quest for Air Power

Author: James K. Libbey
Publisher: Potomac Books, Inc.
ISBN: 9781612341804
Release Date: 2013-08-31
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Today, air power is a vital component of the U.S. armed forces. James Libbey, in Alexander P. de Seversky and the Quest for Air Power, highlights the contributions of an aviation pioneer who made much of it possible. Graduating from the Imperial Russian Naval Academy at the start of World War I, de Seversky lost a leg in his first combat mission. He still shot down thirteen German planes and became the empire's most decorated combat naval pilot. While serving as a naval attache in the United States in 1918, de Seversky elected to escape the Bolshevik Revolution and offered his services as a pilot and consulting engineer to the U.S. War Department. He proved inventive both in the technology of advanced military aircraft and in the strategy of exercising air power. He worked for famed aviation advocate Gen. William "Billy" Mitchell, who encouraged the naturalized citizen to patent his inventions, such as an in-flight refueling system and a gyroscopically synchronized bombsight. His creative spirit then spurred him to design and manufacture advanced military aircraft. When World War II broke out in Europe, de Seversky became America's best-known philosopher, prophet, and advocate for air power, even serving as an adviser to the chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force. The highlight of his life occurred in 1970 when the Aviation Hall of Fame enshrined de Seversky for "his achievements as a pilot, aeronautical engineer, inventor, industrialist, author, strategist, consultant, and scientific advances in aircraft design and aerospace technology." This book will appeal to readers with a special interest in military history and to anyone who wants to learn more about American air power's most important figures.

Alben Barkley

Author: James K. Libbey
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 9780813167145
Release Date: 2016-03-23
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Born to poor tenant farmers in a log cabin in Graves County, Kentucky, Alben Barkley (1877--1956) rose to achieve a national political stature equaled by few of his contemporaries. His memorable public career ranged from the Progressive era to the early years of the Cold War, and he witnessed or influenced many of the key events of the twentieth century. Eventually elected vice president of the United States on the ticket with Harry S. Truman in 1949, Barkley possessed a candid demeanor and social skills that helped him become one of the most popular politicians of his day. In Alben Barkley: A Life in Politics, James K. Libbey offers the first full-length biography of this larger-than-life personality, following Barkley in his transition from local politician to congressman, then senator, senate majority leader, vice president, and senator once again. A loyal Democrat, Barkley was instrumental in guiding Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal programs through Congress. He later took on a key role in managing domestic policy as the president became more and more immersed in World War II. Libbey also reveals Barkley's human side, from his extremely humble beginnings to his dramatic and chilling final speech at Washington and Lee University in 1956, when he said, "I would rather be a servant in the house of the Lord than to sit in the seats of the mighty," delivering the legendary quote moments before succumbing to a massive heart attack. A significant contribution to American history, this definitive biography offers a long overdue look at the "Iron Man" of politics.

Architect of Air Power

Author: Brian D. Laslie
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 9780813174044
Release Date: 2017-09-15
Genre: History

At age 36, Laurence S. Kuter (1905--1979) became the youngest general officer since William T. Sherman. He served as deputy commander of allied tactical air forces in North Africa during World War II and helped devise the American bombing strategy in Europe. Although his combat contributions were less notable than other commanders in the Eighth Air Force, few officers saw as many theaters of operation as he did or were as highly sought-after. After World War II, he led the Military Air Transport Service, Air University, Far East Air Forces, and served as commander-in-chief of the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD). Despite these accomplishments and others, however, Kuter remains widely underappreciated. In Architect of Air Power, Brian D. Laslie offers the first biography of this important but unsung pioneer whose influence can be found in every stage of the development of an independent US Air Force. From his early years at West Point to his days at the Air Corps Tactical School to his leadership role at NORAD, Kuter made his mark with quiet efficiency. He was an early advocate of strategic bombardment rather than pursuit or fighter aviation -- fundamentally changing the way air power was used -- and later helped implement the Berlin airlift in 1948. In what would become a significant moment in military history, he wrote Field Manual 100-20, which is considered the Air Force's "declaration of independence" from the Army. Drawing on diaries, letters, and scrapbooks, Laslie offers a complete portrait of this influential soldier. Architect of Air Power illuminates Kuter's pivotal contributions and offers new insights into critical military policy and decision-making during the Second World War and the Cold War.

War Chaos and History

Author: Roger A. Beaumont
Publisher: Praeger Publishers
ISBN: UOM:39015031818183
Release Date: 1994-01-01
Genre: History

"War, Chaos, and History" considers the implications of the emerging field of research in chaos-complexity-non-linearity for the study of war. This study examines the special dependence of military professionals on history in their shaping of doctrines, style, and attitudes in spite of the wide gap between the portrayal of war in military history and the far greater intricacy of its reality. Special foci in the analysis include: the fragility of doctrine; the chronic confounding of plans and expectations in actual operations; the congruences of chaos and creativity theoretics; effects of war on the environment; and problems of evidence and reportage. Three cases--battle cruisers, tank destroyers, and heavy fighter aircraft--are presented to illustrate paradoxes, especially the gap between vision and realization, and the tension between the urge to control and the impulse to create chaos in war.

The Paths of Heaven the Evolution of Airpower Theory Study of Douhet World War I and II William Mitchell Naval Theories Europe Air Corps DeSeversky Nuclear Strategy Boyd Warden and NATO

Author: U. S. Military
ISBN: 1549831615
Release Date: 2017-09-25

The purpose of this book is to trace the evolution of airpower theory from the earliest days of powered flight to the present, concluding with a chapter that speculates on the future of military space applications. Although the men and women of the Air Force have recorded some outstanding accomplishments over the past 50 years, on the whole, our service has remained more concerned with operations than theory. This focus has produced many notable achievements, but it is equally important for airmen to understand the theory of airpower. Historian I. B. Holley has convincingly demonstrated the link between ideas and weapons, and in the conclusion to this book, he cautions that "a service that does not develop rigorous thinkers among its leaders and decision makers is inviting friction, folly, and failure."In that light, The Paths of Heaven is a valuable means of increasing our expertise in the employment of airpower. It offers an outstanding overview of airpower theories since the dawn of flight and will no doubt serve as the basic text on this vital subject for some time to come. The contributors, all from the School of Advanced Airpower Studies (SAAS) at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, are the most qualified experts in the world to tackle this subject. As the home of the only graduate-level program devoted to airpower and as the successor to the Air Corps Tactical School, SAAS boasts students and faculty who are helping build the airpower theories of the future. In explaining how we can employ air and space forces to fulfill national objectives, this book enriches the Air Force and the nation. Airpower may not always provide the only solution to a problem, but the advantages of speed, range, flexibility, and vantage point offered through the air and space environment make airpower a powerful instrument for meeting the needs of the nation. Understanding these advantages begins by knowing the ideas behind the technology.Chapter 1 - Giulio Douhet and the Origins of Airpower Theory * Chapter 2 - Trenchard, Slessor, and Royal Air Force Doctrine before World War II * Chapter 3 - Molding Airpower Convictions: Development and Legacy of William Mitchell's Strategic Thought * Chapter 4 - The Influence of Aviation on the Evolution of American Naval Thought * Chapter 5 - Airpower Thought in Continental Europe between the Wars * Chapter 6 - Interwar US Army Aviation and the Air Corps Tactical School: Incubators of American Airpower * Chapter 7 - Alexander P. de Seversky and American Airpower * Chapter 8 - Strategic Airpower and Nuclear Strategy: New Theory for a Not-Quite-So-New Apocalypse * Chapter 9 - Air Theory, Air Force, and Low Intensity Conflict: A Short Journey to Confusion * Chapter 10 - John Boyd and John Warden: Airpower's Quest for Strategic Paralysis * Chapter 11 - An Ambivalent Partnership: US Army and Air Force Perspectives on Air-Ground Operations, 1973-90 * Chapter 12 - The Evolution of NATO Air Doctrine * Chapter 13 - Soviet Military Doctrine and Air Theory: Change through the Light of a Storm * Chapter 14 - Ascendant Realms: Characteristics of Airpower and Space Power * Chapter 15 - Reflections on the Search for Airpower Theory